Writer and actor John Matshikiza died in Johannesburg on Monday evening, his daughter Lindiwe said.
Matshikiza collapsed in a restaurant in Melville around 8.30pm. He was 54.
“He suffered a massive heart attack and couldn’t be resuscitated,” Lindiwe said.
Matshikiza was born in Johannesburg in 1954 and grew up in Lusaka and London. While in London, he trained in drama and also worked in theatre, television and film as an actor, director and writer. He has also lived in the United States, Amsterdam and various African countries including Senegal, where he was director of the department of culture of the Gorée Institute for some time, according to an entry on the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s website.
He returned to South Africa in 1991 and directed plays at the Market and Windybrow theatres, wrote and directed documentaries and dramas for television and appeared in various films. Matshikiza’s latest acting role was the villain in the third series of the television series Hard Copy on SABC 3. He was also a columnist and feature writer for newspapers including the Mail & Guardian.
In 2002 he won the regional and national Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award in the specialist category for his column which appears in a collection of his and his father Todd’s works entitled “With the Lid Off” (Mail & Guardian Publishers, 2000). His published works also include “South Where Her Feet Cool on Ice” (Lo Honyera, 1981) and “Prophets in the Black Sky” (Polyptoton, 1986).